F U L L . R E V I E W S



T&N
Slave To The Empire

Company: Rat Pak Records
Release: 2012
Genre: Hard Rock
Reviewer: Chris Kincaid

  • Doesn't do the classics any justice



  • I was excited for this release. I mean the idea of reuniting Lynch, Pilson and Brown who were the backbone on every single Dokken album. Plus bringing in guest vocalists to cover Don's parts - talent like Robert Mason, Sebastian Bach and Tim Ripper Owens gave it added potential.

    I need to stop getting my hopes up!

    Despite it's misleading title "Slave To The Empire" is not about Darth Vader and The Emperor, but I wish it was since it'd be more entertaining than this dismal effort that fails to impress. No, instead we are fed a mixture of Dokken songs redone to give them a 'modern touch' and new songs written by the 3 castaway members of Dokken with Jeff Pilson supplying the vocals.

    Take the ballad 'Alone Again' with Bach. It sounds like a winning combo till you hear it and find he turns in a half ass performance. He almost sounds like he was bored to be there. Robert Mason on a slower version of 'It's Not Love' - should be renamed 'It's Not Good'. Or Doug Pinnick of Kings X fame who steps into Don's leather pants for a cringe worthy cover of 'Tooth & Nail' that includes a breakdown that features, of all things, someone playing the spoons! It's like watching a cover band on American Idol try to reinvent a hit but end up butchering the songs you grew up with and loved, with the exception being, 'Kiss of Death'.

    As for the new material it's more or less filler. While the title track and 'Rhythm of the Soul' provide a few highs upon listen they don't have staying power. None of them do. And Pilson may not be the best vocalist but at least on those 2 tracks he turns in a better performance. His vocals are depressing on 'Where Eagles Die'. They put us to sleep on 'Sweet Unknown'. Border on grunting on 'Mind Control'. And gives us his best impression of Louie Armstrong on 'Jesus Train' with it's old time radio sounding intro. Oh, the spoons once again make an appearance, too. *Eye roll*

    Bottom line: It's like a Lynch Mob/Souls of We sounding album that doesn't do the classics any justice.

    Suddenly, a Dokken reunion doesn't sound so bad.


    Maximum Metal Rating Legend - Click for Full Details
    5 Excellent - Buy it and say a prayer to the metal gods that you were tuned on to this masterpiece. A classic.
    4-4.5 Great - Almost perfect records but there's probably a clunker or a lacking somewhere to keep it from perfection. You won't feel bad about dropping some bones on these.
    3.5 Good - Most of the record is good, but there may be some filler. This is the OK range where you'd search for the record on sale or used.
    3 Average - Some good songs, some bad ones at about a half/half ratio. Could show skills but be dull overall. Redeeming qualities for indy bands are effort and passion. Majors that don't try or suck outright end up here.
    2-2.5 Fair - Worth a listen, but best obtained by collectors. There is much better metal out there.
    1-1.5 Bad - Major problems with music, lyrics, production, etc.
    0 Terrible or an otherwise waste of your life and time.

    Note: Reviews are graded from 0-5, anything higher or not showing is from our old style. Scores, however, do not reveal the important features. The written review that accompanies the ratings is the best source of information regarding the music on our site. Reviewing is opinionated, not a qualitative science, so scores are personal to the reviewer and could reflect anything from being technically brilliant to gloriously cheesy fun.

    Demos and independent releases get some slack since the bands are often spent broke supporting themselves and trying to improve. Major releases usually have big financial backing, so they may be judged by a heavier hand. All scores can be eventually adjusted up or down by comparison of subsequent releases by the same band. We attempt to keep biases out of reviews and be advocates of the consumer without the undo influence of any band, label, management, promoter, etc.

    The best way to determine how much you may like certain music is to listen to it yourself.



    ALL FULL REVIEWS FOR: T&N
    CD
    TITLE BAND
    DOR
    REVIEWER DATE
    Slave To The EmpireT&N
    2012
    Chris Kincaid10/19/2012


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